When we were at school together I didn’t really know Deirdre too well and so I had no idea what an inspiring woman she would become.
Three years ago Deirdre was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
After becoming completely numb on one side of her body she found herself lying frightened in a hospital emergency room.
MS is a chronic debilitating illness with no known cure.
One relapse left Deirdre unable to do basic tasks that most of us take for granted every day. I was so moved to learn about her struggles.
From painful experience I know that when an illness takes away your ability to parent your children it truly steals something precious. I empathise so much with a Mother who wants to take care of her own children and most especially not burden them with her care.
Earlier this year Deirdre took the brave decision to go to Russia to receive life-changing medical treatment so that MS will not control her life.
I was lucky enough to be part of her journey through buying a ticket to attend a charity ball organised to raise funds to pay for her treatment.
The most remarkable thing about the ball was the upbeat energy that permeated the place. Many of Deirdre’s pupils, past and present had gathered around her to help with this event. A “Team Dee” had been assembled and they were something to behold.
Former classmates, pupils, teachers, friends and family mixed together to create a wonderful atmosphere.
The Runaways danced and entertained stylishly, Party band The Firm belted out some of everyone’s all time favourites before a DJ rocked guests into the wee hours.
Local sweet suppliers The Sugar Shack furnished guests with sweet goodies; Ferro Rocher and pink sweets were displayed on a beautiful spinning wheel. Pick n Mix for Grown-ups.
I’ll be honest it didn’t really feel like charity. It was a celebration, of life, of each other and of a Team spirit that is determined to beat Multiple Sclerosis.